President Obama thinks Hollywood should be strive to “provide opportunity to everybody.”
The POTUS weighed in on the diversity debate that on Wednesday when asked for his thoughts on the #OscarsSoWhite backlash during an appearance on KABC, an ABC affiliate in Los Angeles, while speaking with TV news anchors about the Affordable Care Act.
“I think that California is an example of the incredible diversity of this country. That’s a strength. I think that when everyone’s story is told then that makes for better art,” Obama said.
“It makes for better entertainment,” he continued. “It makes everybody feels part of one American family, so I think as a whole the industry should do what every other industry should do which is to look for talent, provide opportunity to everybody.”
Although Obama thinks “the Oscar debate is really just an expression of this broader issue,” he did ask, “Are we making sure that everybody is getting a fair shot?”
The director has refused to attend this year's Academy Awards because no people of color were nominated. "How is it possible for the 2nd consecutive year all 20 contenders under the actor category are white? And let’s not even get into the other branches. 40 white actors in 2 years and no flava at all. We can’t act?! WTF!!” he tweeted.
The actress -- whose husband, Will Smith, was snubbed for Best Actor for "Concussion" -- pondered on social media whether people of color should participate in the Oscars at all. “At the Oscars, people of color are always welcomed to give out awards, even entertain, but we are rarely recognized for our artistic accomplishments.
The actor announced that he will not be attending this year’s Oscars ceremony in support of the boycott proposed by wife Jada Pinkett Smith.
"At this current time, we’re uncomfortable to stand there and say, ‘This is OK,'" he said.
The actor, while presenting a King Legacy Award to Academy president Cheryl Boone Isaacs, pointed out that this is the second year in a row the Academy has failed to nominate a single non-white actor. "For 20 opportunities to celebrate actors of color, actresses of color, to be missed last year is one thing; for that to happen again this year is unforgivable.”
The filmmaker told TheWrap that he plans to join the boycott, and said "I thought about this all day, and I don’t plan to go to the show, I don’t plan to watch it and I don’t plan to go to an Oscar party."
The actor-director, who will host the Academy Awards on February 28, made light of the controversy. He tweeted a new Oscars promo along with the caption “The #Oscars. The White BET Awards.”
The “Furious 7” star called on Academy Awards host Chris Rock to pull out of the ceremony after no people of color were nominated in its 20 acting categories. He also went into more detail on social media, saying if the situation involved the under-representation of LGBT nominees, there is no question things would be different.
Don Cheadle The actor joined the discussion Sunday by tweeting at Chris Rock, saying he’ll be “parking cars” at the Hollywood & Highland complex the night of the ceremony.
"The View" host tore into the lack of diversity during Tuesday's episode: “We have this conversation every year and it pisses me off."
BET Founder Bob Johnson
Johnson didn't just blame Oscar voters for the lack of diversity among this year's nominees, he told TheWrap studios must greenlight more diverse projects. He also implored African Americans to tell their own stories rather than depend on the Hollywood establishment.
"If you’re the African-American society and you wait for white America to say ‘I’m gonna tell your stories,’ first of all, they don’t know them or appreciate them, and second of all, that is not in their DNA,” he said.
The "Hulk" actor told BBC Breakfast that he is "weighing" taking part in the Oscar boycott, stating that "the entire American system is rife with white privilege racism. It goes into our justice system.” He later took to Twitter to clarify his statements, in which he said that he will be attending the awards "in support of the victims of clergy Sexual Abuse and good journalism."
Earl Ofari Hutchinson
Los Angeles Urban Policy Roundtable President Earl Ofari Hutchinson said his organization will "launch a nationwide 'TV Tune Out' of the Oscars ceremony, February 28. This will send the message that diversity in the film industry must be more than a hollow promise."
Al Sharpton’s National Action Network
Al Sharpton’s civil rights organization is calling for a boycott of this year’s Oscars. “The lack of African Americans and women excluded from the major categories of Oscar nominees is appalling,” the chapter’s political director, Najee Ali said in a statement. “Cheryl Boone Issacs, the African-American president of the academy, is nothing but a pawn, and the black face of Hollywood’s system and culture that is racist, sexist and lacks true diversity.”
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Academy members Michael Moore and Spike Lee vow they will not attend the event over lack of diversity among nominees